At the Meliá Barajas, concierge David Spence advises visitors about what to do and where to dine in the Spanish capital. Here he offers expert guidance for business travelers.
What should business travelers pack for a visit your city?
In Madrid you must pack for the season: a sweater for spring and fall (and summer evenings) and a coat for winter. No matter the time of year, you’ll always want sunglasses and a pair of comfortable walking shoes for exploring our beautiful city.
What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?
Nuevo Porche (Calle Alaro 5; Ph: 917 478 144) offers friendly service and high-quality food made with fresh, regional ingredients. Okela (Avd. de Logroño, 126; Ph: 913 057 266) is cozy and budget-friendly; it serves modern dishes derived from traditional Spanish favorites. At La Escondida (Paseo del Zurrón 53; Ph: 917 470 392) the menu blends Italian and Argentinean fare. The food is delicious and affordable, and the atmosphere is modern and hip.
What’s something that surprises guests about your city?
Nobody expects to find an Egyptian temple in the middle of Madrid, but we have one. The 2,000-year-old Temple of Debod was reconstructed stone by stone in Madrid when a major dam project required its removal from near the Nile River. Now it’s the centerpiece of Cuartel de la Montaña Park.
If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see?
What’s the best option for outdoor exercise in Madrid?
Parks all around the city provide trails for walking or running. Parque del Capricho, Juan Carlos I Park, Parque del Retiro and Casa de Campo are among local favorites.
Concierge David Spence‘s top tips for getting business right in Madrid:
Tip 1: Arrive on time to appointments.
Tip 2: Business attire is a suit and tie for men and a business suit or dress for women. Locals may dress down a bit at dinner, but check the restaurant’s dress code before leaving your suit jacket behind; many restaurants require it.
Tip 3: Men shake hands to greet each other and when introduced to a woman for the first time. Women shake hands on the first introduction but usually kiss each other on the cheek—one kiss per cheek—thereafter. Men and women who know each other also may kiss on the cheek as a greeting.